Sleep is perhaps the most vital factor when it comes to the growth and well-being of children. Parents have always been concerned with the quality and quantity of sleep that their child requires.
So are you new to parenthood? Congratulations! You need to prepare yourself for the rollercoaster ride that lies ahead of you. From kids’ sleeping habits to their mood swings while eating, you will be needing a lot of stamina and energy to deal with all of it.
You are going to struggle hard with your little ones but we are not trying to scare you here. You are going to love this experience and we promise things will get easier with time. And when they are old enough, you are going to miss their childhood terribly.
Kids’ Sleeping Habits – Why is Sleep Very Important?
Children undergo a lot of development while they sleep. Since the waking hours of the kids are incredibly active, they get exhausted and need their sleep. You must have heard that the more the kid sleeps, the better it is for his growth. This is actually true! They are trying to learn about the world in their own intense ways and therefore, deep slumbers are important for them.
Some big changes happen during sleep. The body undergoes a transformation and the body cells replenish and rebuild during sleep. The internal organs work on metabolizing energy. They also help in detoxification and absorption of food. Kids grow muscle fiber and new tissues in sleep. Their brains are developing and their bones are forming. All these important functions are performed while the kid sleeps.
According to recent observations, kids’ sleeping habits are changing. Not all infants sleep for standard 17 hours. Some are more restless than the others. Some older kids don’t understand the concept of napping. Hate to sleep in the afternoons. These differences will always be there. But you need to know the standard and optimal range of sleep required by kids of different age groups.
Sleep Range for Different Age Groups
We will talk about the recommended amount of sleep required by kids in this section. This range depends on the different stages of their development. Experts from AASM (American Academy of Sleep Medicine) and some other major organizations have defined this sleep range.
Following is the amount of sleep required in the space of twenty-four hours.
Newborn Baby’s Sleep
It is common knowledge that newborn babies sleep the most. Since they are new to the world and to existing independently, they have not formed their circadian rhythm or biological clock as yet. They are unaware of the night and daytime. Therefore, the recommended range for 1-week olds is 16-17 hours. While for kids aged 1-4 months, the recommended sleep hours are 14-16.
Like mentioned earlier, some kids sleep lesser than the recommended range. But is your newborn baby’s sleep less than 11 hours? If yes, then you should see a doctor because this can be detrimental to his development and growth.
How Much should Infants Sleep?
Infants can sleep for longer periods and they don’t remain awake for long hours. They are also good at regular napping. In infancy, they develop their own circadian rhythm. Sleep rhythms are not the same for every infant out there. But we are going to give you the recommended range. Infants aged 4-12 months should sleep 12-16 hours. This doesn’t include nap times.
Sleeping less than 10 hours is not recommended. Infants can’t grow and develop healthily if they sleep for less than 10 hours.
Toddlers’ Sleep Hours
This stage brings more activity and adventure. And that means the sleeping schedule is more important for optimal growth and health. Toddlers are capable of actively learning, talking, interacting, walking, and running. Therefore, they need a good long night’s sleep along with a couple of naps every day. They need enough rest for energy restoration.
The recommended sleep hours for toddlers of 1-2 years are 12-14 hours. Also, sleeping more than 16 and less than 10 hours can be hazardous for their development and growth.
Recommended Preschoolers Sleep Hours
When kids are 3-5 years old, their activity increases further. They are more active at exploring and learning new things around them. And hence, they need quality sleep hours for energy restoration. They need at least 11-13 hours of quality sleep to feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
Kids’ sleeping habits can be tricky but sleeping less than 9 hours can be detrimental to their well-being and health. Also, sleeping more than 14 hours is not recommended and can have a bad impact on their development and growth.
How Much should Grade Schoolers Sleep?
Grade schoolers will argue to stay up a little more every time you ask them to go to bed. You will have to put in some effort to ensure your kid is getting sufficient and consistent sleep. For grade-schoolers aged 6-12 years, the recommended sleep hours are 9-12.
Sleeping less than 8 hours is not recommended and can affect their learning skills and productive faculties.
Recommended Teens’ Sleep
Kids are still growing and undergoing developmental phases. That’s particularly true for young boys. Their growth continues until they are 25 years of age. In this age group that’s 13-18 years, their schooling is also intense. Don’t think that they have grown up enough. Their sleep needs are still vital to their overall productivity, energy, and activity. Teens should get a minimum of 8-10 hours of sleep.
If teens are sleeping less than 7 hours, the quality of their learning and productivity is greatly reduced.
How Much should Young Adults Sleep?
Young adults won’t listen to your sleep advice amidst their Netflix-binge and social media browsing. But they should be aware of these facts. Aged 18-25, the recommended number of sleep hours are 8-9. Sleeping less than 6 hours is not recommended. Lack of sleep can affect the learning faculties and productivity in young adults.
If you have kids and tots who are having trouble sleeping according to the adequate number of hours, you should try multivitamins for kids, which helps in better sleep. Get in touch with their pediatrician or physician to have safe options according to their age.